Not Rohith Vemula – no tears for ABVP student who committed suicide in Karnataka

Two groups of students clash, the administration is accused of being biased, one group is awarded punishment, one student commits suicide – this is repeat of the Rohith Vemula incident.

But the crucial difference is – the student who died this time is from a group that doesn’t find favour with the mainstream media or bleeding heart liberals.

Which is why his death is not making national headlines and activists are not changing their display pictures on the social networks. This is the story of 21 years old Abhishek, who committed suicide on Tuesday night in Sringeri, Karnataka.

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Abhishek
Abhishek, the ABVP member who committed suicide after police filed an FIR against him.

A member of the RSS affiliated student organisation ABVP, Abhishek ended his life as he feared that an FIR filed against him could ruin his career and prospects of getting a job and leading a normal life.

The FIR was filed after members of ABVP and NSUI (Congress affiliated student organisation) allegedly clashed with each other over an invite to a speaker for a campus event called Yodha Namana (salute to soldiers) on Saturday. The speaker was termed “communal” by the NSUI students, who protested against the invitation.

Following the protests by NSUI, the college – JCBM College – administration cancelled the invite. This is eerily similar to what happened a couple of days back at JNU where leftist students forced the university to cancel invite to a speaker.

This cancellation led to an alleged fight between ABVP and NSUI members on Monday. The NSUI president complained to the police, after which an FIR was filed on Tuesday against five students, including Abhishek who was a final year B.Com student.

“This left Abhishek totally shaken and upset. In the death note, he has asked forgiveness from his father and said that he was being blamed for no fault of his. If he was actually involved in the assault, he would not have resorted to the extreme step. Since his name was included in the FIR, he felt that his future was at stake,” an official is quoted saying by the Bangalore Mirror.

There is Congress government in Karnataka and an FIR filed against students following complaint by a Congress affiliated organisation is being seen as a case of partiality and high handedness. According to this report in The Hindu, none of the accused students were summoned or enquired related to the complaint. Yet an FIR was filed, which can prove to be terrorising enough for a young student.

And that’s what happened to Abhishek, who feared that the police case will ruin his career and he will be branded a criminal for rest of his life. On Tuesday– the same day when FIR was fired – he ended his life around 11 pm.

Abhishek’s father is distraught and is holding the college principal and management responsible for his son’s death. To get justice, he has filed a complaint against NSUI president and others, accusing them of filing a false complaint against Abhishek.

ABVP too is protesting to get justice, but this news has barely made big headlines even in Karnataka. There are no debates on prime time news and neither are there any op-eds. This is in sharp contrast to the anger and outrage that the nation witnessed when Rohit Vemula had committed suicide.

A young Abhishek’s life doesn’t matter? Or those who follow a particular ideology deserve to die in the eyes of those who call themselves “liberal”? No need for #JusticeForAbhishek?


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